Associate Director of Higher Education Innovation
Daniel O’Donnell serves as the Associate Director of Higher Education Innovation at Benefits Data Trust. He is responsible for growing and managing BDT’s higher education portfolio of work - with a focus on state systems and agencies - to connect students to Pell Grants, SNAP, and other assistance to help them succeed in college.
Daniel is a passionate advocate for educational access, and a strong believer in life-long learning. He has spent his career working for mission-driven organizations. As the former Senior Manager of Strategic Partnerships at Merit America, Daniel led partnership strategy and expansion for the fastest-growing nonprofit in the United States – providing an alternative pathway to postsecondary education to thousands of low-income individuals across the country. As the Associate Director of Graduate Enrollment Management at the top-ranked Indiana University O’Neill School of Public and Environmental Affairs, Daniel managed graduate enrollment for seven graduate-degree programs, and oversaw a $4 million financial aid budget. Currently, Daniel serves on the board of directors of Oak Point University, a nursing and radiography college in suburban Chicago that focuses on serving nontraditional students.
Daniel lives in Chicago, Illinois and holds a Master of Science in Adult Education and a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science, both from Indiana University. He also has Graduate Certificates in Higher Education and Student Affairs and Business.